House o' Dreams

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The House o’ Dreams is a large stone and board-and-batten cottage on top of Lavender Mountain. Plans were drawn by Harry Carlson of Cooledge and Carlson of Boston. It was built in 1922 by students and staff as a gift to Miss Berry on the 20th anniversary of the Schools. At 1,360 feet above sea level, 600 feet above Frost Chapel, the House o’ Dreams and its water/fire tower command a superb view of the campuses, the reservoir, the city of Rome, the Northwest Georgia area, and neighboring states, Alabama and Tennessee.

Miss Berry's mountain retreat was financed by contributions from Mrs. Emily Vanderbilt Hammond, alumni and friends. The landscaping was done by Mr. Robert B. Cridland from Philadelphia. The terraces for fruit trees and berry patches, added at Miss Berry's suggestion, were patterned after the grounds of Castle Nemi in Italy where Eugenia Berry Ruspoli, Martha Berry's sister, lived.  

Many guests have enjoyed Southern hospitality at the House o’ Dreams. Miss Berry used the house as a retreat as well as a place to entertain. It is still used for meetings and "dreaming" sessions by faculty, staff and student groups.

The mountain supplied all the necessary materials for the house. The students built the furniture and designed and wove the fabric for curtains and slipcovers. The house and grounds are maintained by a caretaker who lives in a small cottage nearby. A grant in the form of a challenge to Berry alumni and friends was made in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. William B. Stokely of Knoxville, Tennessee. The challenge was met, and through the Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Stokely provided funding for the full restoration of the mountain-top retreat. Completed in 1984, the restoration has assured the preservation and continued use of this historic structure. The drapery fabrics were copied at the handicrafts shop for new curtains and slipcovers.

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